China punishes French NBA player for not looking at Chinese flag during anthem

The conflict between the NBA and CBA had reached an all-time high

A former French NBA player was reprimanded and fined by the Chinese sports officials for not looking at the flag while the Chinese national anthem was playing during a Friday game. Nanjing Tongxi Monkey King player Guerschon Yabusele was fined 10,000 yuan by the Chinese Basketball Association. Opinions about the punishment were divided among the netizens of the Chinese social media.

In the past few months, the conflict between the NBA and CBA had reached an all-time high. The former Celtics player, Guerschon Yabusele, had kept his head down while the "March of the Volunteers" was playing. The players are expected to stare at the national symbol during the national anthem.

Social Media Reactions

Yabusele was given a serious warning and fined for the 'inappropriate behaviour'. The Chinese version of Twitter, Weibo, was flooded with the [ublic discussing Yebusele's action and the CBA's reaction to it. Some users were outraged at the disrespect the player showed towards the flag while the others have been discussing the actions taken by CBA. Some users believe that Yebusele was not disrespecting or showing anything inappropriate.

"He's happy to take money from China, but he doesn't respect it," said one person on Weibo. But some found the sanction to be harsh and said "It's nonsense. First, he's not Chinese. Moreover, he stood up and didn't make any insulting gesture."

Player was released by Celtics

The player was released by Celtics after he failed to show improvement during his third stint with the summer league. The 23-year old French Celtics player isn't the only one to be fined over the same reason by the CBA. Former Celtics player MarShon Brooks of Guangdong Southern Tigers was fined in April for the same reason. Zhejiang Lions' Aaron Jackson was also fined and warned earlier this year.

Under the Xi Jinping government, there has been a considerable amount of promotion of patriotism. The legislation in 2017 decided to punish anyone who disrespects the Chinese National symbol.